China’s Military Spending Much Higher Than US Believed

( – China’s military spending is far higher than the US believed, according to the US Indo-Pacific Command. Admiral John Aquilino told reporters in Tokyo that China’s economy was faltering amid real estate turmoil and the Chinese government’s figures about the country’s economic situation were “not real.” Nevertheless, military spending is “drastically more” than the Communist regime has declared.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) reported in March that it had raised its military budget by 7.2%, but Aquilino said the actual figure is higher. He added that it is “concerning” that the CCP would raise military expenditures while its economy is in freefall.

Admiral Aquilino furthermore condemned China for its aggressive action in the South China Sea, where it is engaged in territorial disputes with several countries. He said US-ally Taiwan is subject to a campaign of coercion by China and noted comments from a senior Chinese military figure at a recent conference in Qingdao. Zhang Youxia, vice chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission, said his country would react forcefully if any of its interests were threatened.

In Tokyo, Admiral Aquilino also addressed North Korea and referred to its high military spending as “disgusting.” He said “every bit” of economic advance in that country results in higher expenditure on weapons even while its population endures food shortages.

Last year, the United Nations estimated that North Korea was on the verge of its worst food crisis since a famine in the 1990s killed between 3% and 5% of its population. Lucas Rengifo-Keller from the Peterson Institute for International Economics said that available data suggests North Korea’s food supply had “dipped below the amount needed to satisfy minimum human needs.”

Nevertheless, the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, has conducted several military exercises through 2023 and 2024 and boasted that he has missiles capable of reaching the United States. Experts say North Korea’s development of nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles is most likely the result of close cooperation and technology-sharing with Russia.

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